Jurgen Klopp Frustrated by 12.30pm Kick-Offs After International Breaks
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp cut an irritated figure when asked about the club’s record in 12.30pm kick-offs, describing the time slot as “a joke.” It is no secret how the German manager views these kick-offs when they immediately follow international breaks or come after evening mid-week fixtures.
Klopp was asked about Liverpool’s recent record on a Saturday lunchtime after no wins from six last season. His response was to ask if the question was serious, before going on to explain the lack of recovery time that comes with such a schedule. He said: “The only problem is the lack of recovery time.”
The frustration is understandable as the manager has to factor in a lack of recovery and preparation time that would not be a factor with a later kick-off. Klopp had yet to have a glimpse of his South American contingent just over 24 hours before kick-off at Wolves following their late return to Merseyside from international duty.
The manager went on to point out that Liverpool have four international breaks until March, two of which already have 12.30pm kick-offs. He said: “If I say a word about it, the world goes again, ‘ugh, he starts moaning again’. We have players in South America, I didn’t see them yet and in 24 hours we play. It is like it is.”
Klopp continued to make valid points on the schedule, noting that the lack of recovery time will likely see Alexis Mac Allister, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez all start from the bench at Wolves. He said: “We cannot change it, we will never change that. Whoever we will talk to, obviously the TV channel has a different name, but that obviously does not change anything at all. They just don’t give a ‘bleep’ about that.”
The manager did not need to be as antagonised by the question as he was, as while he is right that the media will consider him moaning, he never fails to raise important points. The timing of Liverpool’s kick-off at Wolves will likely see his South American players start from the bench due to the lack of recovery time.
It is clear that Jurgen Klopp is frustrated by 12.30pm kick-offs after international breaks, and while he knows his comments on the matter will again garner media attention, he still continues to make valid points on the schedule. The lack of recovery time for players is an issue that needs to be addressed, and it is one that Klopp will continue to raise until something is done about it.